What Is Huntington's Disease?

Huntington's disease is a progressive brain disorder in which your brain cells start to break down. Huntington's disease can lead to:

  • Emotional disturbances
  • Loss of intellectual abilities
  • Uncontrolled movements

Huntington's disease is passed from parent to child through an abnormal gene. A child of an affected parent has a 50% chance of developing the disease.

Huntington's disease is a rare disorder. Approximately 30,000 Americans currently have Huntington's disease, although many more are at risk for developing it. It affects both males and females and all races equally.

Facts about Huntington's disease

If you have the Huntington's disease gene, you will develop the disease at some point. Most people experience symptoms in their 30s or 40s. But this can vary greatly from person to person.

If your child does not develop the disease, he or she will not pass it along. For 1% to 3% of people with Huntington's disease, no family history of the disorder is ever identified.

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